Mental Toughness

Okay. For some reason, I went a little crazy with my workout today.

My schedule called for a Tempo Run (3 mile warm up, 4 mile tempo, 3 mile cool down). 
FOUR MILE TEMPO, EH?? Greeeeaaaat. I just looooove tempo runs (just kidding. I pretty much despise going faster than my half marathon pace… but I’ve made it a goal to try to do all the tempo’s and speedwork this time around). 
I decided to do this at the gym on the treadmill so that I can’t wimp out and decide to go slowly. Warmup miles were perfecto, around 8:30 for three miles. 
The Tempo? I did the first two around 7:47 then I HAD to take a little break to walk. I dunno why I felt super gassed and just had to rest. About 0.15 mile walking. There were a few times when I thought about quitting and attempting this tempo run another day, but I decided to go against everything that my body was saying. I sped it back up to 7:47 and just told myself to get through one more faster mile. As I got through 0.5 mile, I sped it up a tiny bit. When I finished that mile, I knew I still had a little more in me. 
ONE MORE FAST TEMPO MILE, LET’S GOOOO. I kept creeping up the speed (thinking, “Hey, the faster you go, the sooner these miles are done.”). As I got closer to the end of the tempo miles, I kept upping the pace. Around the last tenth of the tempo, I sprinted it out around 6:30 (haha for like 15 to 20 seconds only). 
As soon as I saw the mileage hit 7.15 (because I walked that 0.15 mile in the middle), I brought the speed down to 8:30 again. I continued to slow it down for one mile and then walked one mile. So I didn’t do a 3-mile cool down but I don’t care. 
9 miles (4 being tempo), just over 78 minutes. Not bad considering that I walked 1.15 of it at 4.5 mph. 
Afterwards, I went back to my apartment to eat a quick snack and then I went straight to Bikram yoga! I usually try not to do a long/hard run back-to-back with the 90-minute Bikram yoga, but I knew I couldn’t catch another class later today and I wanted to have a good rest day tomorrow. 
So off I went. Holy crap. I got more lightheaded and had to really focus on my breathing and keeping everything calm. I drank huge gulps and sweat more than ever (later I realized that it’s because this instructor never opened the doors to air out the room a little. The other instructors always do that part way through the class). 
Anyways, I always recovered with deep, slow breaths in between the postures… and I made it through!
I got home and guzzled down ice-cold water and drank a protein shake. 
Both of these workouts required a lot of mental focus and toughness. Yes, your body is going to tell you to stop, to slow down, to quit. It’s fine to take a tiny break but try to get back into it as soon as you can (don’t wait until you’ve stopped breathing hard or stopped sweating to get back!). 
You’ll be amazed at how strong God has made you! He made you so much more capable than what the world (or your own head) tells you!
[Disclaimer: I’m not a certified trainer. You should always get the “OK” from your doctor before attempting any new physical activity]. 
Speaking of mental toughness, I’ll need plenty of it when I run the Trail Hog 10K on Saturday. Last year, I got third woman in the half marathon:
It was one of the toughest races I had run (up to that point). How did I keep going? Well, I just picked a person who was a tiny bit faster than me and pretty much kept trying to keep up with her (she was my “rabbit”). I ended up passing her near the 2nd to last mile. 
Oh, yeah. I think this race is also a little longer than a real 10K (around 6.44 miles. That’s good to know because then I can gun it around 6.3 instead of 6.0 or whatever). 
We’ll see how it goes. 
Have a wonderful Thursday!

2 responses to “Mental Toughness

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